Stellantis isn’t the only carmaker seeking future talent among today’s students. Nissan counts a number of graduates from the ArtCenter College of Design among its ranks, including Senior Design Director Ken Lee. Nissan sponsored a 14-week project that challenged nine Transportation Design students at the California college to “create an iconic Nissan product for 2033, representing Nissan’s performance DNA.” The year matters because it’s the 100th anniversary of Nissan being affiliated with vehicle manufacturing. Why only affiliated? Because in the early 1930s, Nihon Sangyo was a holding company abbreviated to “Nissan” on the stock market, and it owned a company that bought the carmaker DAT Jidosha Seizo, which would become Datsun. After establishing the car division in 1933, the Nissan Motor Company name appeared in 1934.
From the past, then, to these concepts for the future. Each needed to embody some aspect of performance. However, Nissan makes cars from the kei to the GT-R to the Armada, which turns the idea of performance into something more like sharp capability. The result is a range of concepts like Ruben Teverow’s Figaro city car on one end, Cui Jie’s off-road GT-R at the other, and Darren Hur’s modular Companion concept in between. The list of potential show cars:
- Chuyi Chen’s Pal concept: A “purist, refined exterior” around a McLaren-F1-like layout with centrally mounted driver’s seat and two passenger seats behind and to the sides
- Cui Jie’s GT-R concept: Inspired by the current road car, it’s a high ground clearance, high-performance, four-seat SUV
- Darren Hur’s Companion concept: Flexible, modular, features like the pop-out cutting board and induction stove are made for car camping
- David He’s On the Road concept: A convertible for weekend warriors who don’t bug out without their dogs, features sliding side doors and slide-out gear storage drawer
- Michael Ge’s Toki concept: Big ground clearance meets big interior room and advanced autonomous technology
- Robin Kim’s Urban Vision concept: A two-seater with open sides for the “adventurous spirit” that doubles as a comfortable cocoon for the urban work week
- Ruben Teverow’s Figaro concept: Inspired by the Nissan Figaro city car, Japanese literature, design and kanji (Japanese writing script) characters
- Stig Wang’s Sword & Chrysanthemum concept: This one’s straight from the movies with sharp lines, polygonal shapes, and exterior lighting elements
- Yanxizao Tan’s Canyon Rider concept: Aimed at younger, enthusiastic drivers seeking an entry-level sports car, another with a center-seat cabin
Check out the Nissan Stories page for more info on the concepts, including artwork and videos on each.